HADLEY, MASS. -- Vince Brookkins, Jr. was only able to appear in 45 games for the Ephs in his four years as a member of the Eph basketball team due to a string of injuries. However, his contributions to his team and the Williams College community were most impressive.
"If you have attended a Williams men's basketball game the last four seasons, Vince's leadership, selflessness, and passion were easy to see and a major reason for our success," noted Eph head coach Kevin App. "Along with his leadership on the court, Vince left an undeniable mark on the Williams community and the athletic department by co-founding the Gaius C. Bolin Chapter of the Williams College Student-Athlete Advisory Council. I'm proud to say I'm his coach because he has simply left Williams College better than he found it!"
As a senior in high school, Brookins was impressed that Williams had been ranked first nationally in both academics and DIII athletics for many years. "I came to Williams because I wanted to be part of the best, and I knew that Williams would provide me with an enriching, yet challenging environment to set me up for my future," he stated. A psychology major with a concentration in leadership studies, Brookins not only immersed himself in the Williams community, but also the nearby community.
His favorite classes at Williams were a psychology seminar with Professor Steven Fein during the spring semester of his junior year titled "Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination" and one with Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies Mason Williams titled "Race and Inequality in the American City."
Brookins became a Vice President of Assist, a student-led program that provides Eph athletes as mentors to elementary school students in North Adams, Mass. He was a founder of the Gaius C. Bolin Chapter (GCBC), which is now a subset of the Williams College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
"GCBC was created due to the lack of representation in our athletic department for athletes of color," Brookins said. "We saw GCBC as filling that void and providing student-athletes with a means to collectively support themselves." Brookins has high hopes for the future of GCBC, he feels his role in helping hire Tommy Verdell in the athletic department will be monumental for the group and the college. For Claiming Williams this year, Vince and Tommy spearheaded the SAAC event—which focused on the culture of diversity and inclusion across the many different athletic teams at Williams College.
Treasured basketball memories for Brookins include the basketball team's run to the Final Four his freshman year and winning the first outright Little Three title by the Ephs in the last 10 years this past winter.